Emotional Intelligence (EQ) & Personality Type

© Copyright 2009 Pamela Hollister
Please ask permission to reproduce this article. pamhollister@thepeopleprocess.com

The Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence*

  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional management – being aware of your emotions and how you play those out
  • Motivation – being able to defer gratification
  • Interpersonal sensitivity – empathy with other people
  • Ability to influence others
  • Intuitiveness – the ability to make a decision when you don’t have all the data by drawing on deep experience
  • Consciousness – that is linked to integrity

“Emotional intelligence (EQ) is really a combination of a few things,” says Professor Malcolm J. Higgs. “What makes you behave the way you do, what are the consequences? What happens to your behaviors? If you are angry you can’t change being angry but you can understand that you become irrational or deal badly with others when you are angry. It’s understanding all that and based on that understanding having the ability to be able to do something about it,” he explains.

“Part of it is, for want of a better word, self-awareness: Let me be self-aware, let me know how my emotions impact on my behaviors. Secondly, let me try and manage that and use that knowledge to become more effective and the third piece is to understand how other people react to situations and why they may be behaving the way they do and then try to adapt my behavior to try and take that into account,” he says.

Successful leaders tend to be equipped with strong social skills and, in fact, a wide body of research shows that leaders have high levels of EQ, but not all entrepreneurs do. People won’t develop EQ unless they want to or are motivated to do so. It’s not a matter of having or not having EQ – you just need to want to improve. EQ training is about understanding people, and getting them on your side through influence and persuasion.

Emotional intelligence is a term used to describe a complex ability to regulate your impulses, empathize with others, and persist and be resilient in the face of obstacles. Developing your emotional intelligence will help you enhance your leadership abilities, enrich your relationships, extend your influence, and expand the personal resources you can call on to manage life’s mental demands.

An in-depth study and thorough understanding of psychological type can aid in the development of your emotional intelligence. Psychological type, as developed by Dr. Carl Jung, explores people’s preferences for four mental processes – Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling – and their tendency to focus more on the outer (Extraverted) or inner (Introverted) world. These mental processes and orientations work in a dynamic way to influence what people see and evaluate in life, and this dynamic affects all their choices and actions.

When you learn to appropriately access the eight mental processes that make up the model of psychological type, you achieve a level of understanding that offers a practical way to expand your emotional intelligence by enabling you to become more conscious of choices you can make to be effective. The mental processes of Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling differ markedly when Extraverted and Introverted. These differences result in the eight mental functions we use to take in information and decide how to respond to that information. Our preferences among these eight mental functions are what produce our type. The four letter code gives us direction about our preferences.

These eight areas of awareness represent the eight mental functions of psychological type. Getting in touch with your use of these eight aspects of your mental operations is a major step toward greater self-awareness and interpersonal awareness, which enriches your emotional intelligence. We each use all these processes in Extraverted and Introverted forms, but we tend to rely most heavily on our dominant and auxiliary, or our most preferred, functions.

Using some of the functions comes more naturally to you, but part of developing your type involves being able to access each of these functions in the appropriate situation. Doing so enables you to increase the range of behaviors available, representing a significant step toward greater personal efficacy and emotional intelligence.

These eight functions make up the engine of your personality. They provide the source of analysis, reaction, adjustment, and stability in your character on which you can depend. The most complete depiction of these eight functions is in the dynamic relationship that exists each moment in the exchange of energy between you and those around you.

Personality, emotional intelligence, and performance are interdependent factors in your daily experience. When you have an expanded emotional intelligence and a balanced personality, you have a healthier lifestyle, stronger relationships, and overall greater satisfaction and performance in your chosen work. Studies conclude that strong emotional intelligence among leaders aids employee retention, productivity, and performance. Those leaders who consistently exhibit sensitivity to the range of needs and individual differences in their organizations get the best performance results.

Pamela Hollister
Author, The PEOPLE Process
November 10, 2009
*Source: Professor Malcolm J. Higgs
Additional Source: Introduction To Type and Emotional Intelligence, CPP, Inc.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.